The dark pool

the dark pool is full of mysteries like the ground under her feet
like the soles of her feet touching anything knowing the difference no matter where you put me between the grass bank at the edge of the river or the tan stones hard round the front of the house or the pebbly concrete path beside the blackeyed susans the crazy paving patio and the lino on the kitchen floor the red carpet in the dining room the yellow carpet in the living room
or outside away down the hot road tarmac grit and hot road touching dust or grass touching those small piles of mud on the grass where the worms have pushed it up what can her feet tell her is it OK to go on can the feet stop when they need to? the skin of the feet pulling away from the sharp grit
glass doesn’t cut her
glass doesn’t cut her soles like the incision like hurt the incision of doubt the brutal information she can go forward she can turn her feet take her to places she does not want to see the slimy place in the banana grove which smells so bad why should anyone live like that? her feet take swing her upside down and she investigates her place underneath where the water goes into the funnel and then if she somersaults back again down on the floor trickling from the body she knows so little about
what does she need to know where will you let her go
don’t go down to
because I cannot protect you
cannot give you the magic in your pocket to keep you safe bare feet keep you safe knowing precisely when it is too much too hot too sharp too hard and the shape of these useful feet twosquare

it is her hands that take her on water one in each
the oars do the walking pulling hard against the water and the sense is of balance and unruliness is not here don’t lean too far over one side together feel the tip and keep it shipshape but under the boat it is canvas after all so a sharp branch could rip the bottom we skate slowly over the deep water pause as the boat rests holds cups us in its canvas hand resting on the water inky black brown like a mirror painted with black paint deep water sucked under is there a current I can’t pull the oars against? my cousin says so
in the words of her mother I couldn’t get there if